Every Tuesday starting 8th October 2019, until 24th March 2020, we are hosting our ‘Astronomy under the Stars’ evenings in the back garden of our local, award winning pub, The Chequers Inn. The Inn is situated just under a mile away at Rookley. Registration is at 6.45 pm, with observing between 7.00 pm and approximately 8pm. Join us to observe the night time wonders. These are public events costing only £3 per adult, or £10 for a family of 4, with children aged 5 and under FREE! These events are WEATHER DEPENDANT, so please check the local forecast to avoid disappointment. Booking is not required – please simply pay John on the night.
Why not have a meal beforehand or afterwards at the Chequers Inn and make an unforgettable evening of it? We can recommend the menu very highly, and judging by the enthusiastic reviews left in our guest book, so can our previous guests.
At Stargazers Cottage we have everything you need to start observing the sky, or to start taking beautiful pictures.
We can provide you with telescopes, mounts, powerpacks and pretty much everything you would need.
You are also welcome to bring your own equipment and set up in our garden. We have mains power dotted around the grounds and a dedicated area complete with an observatory pier that can take a Skywatcher EQ5/6 at the time of writing.
We are always around to offer help and guidance and we love to talk astro!
We also offer personal one to one tuition under the stars on a hourly basis and can also offer lessons on astronomical image processing – please call or email us for more details at the time of your booking
In our visual observatory we have plenty of room for our signature scope, an 8″ achromatic refractor, complete with Moonlight focuser, cooling vents and Telrad finder. This was constructed by myself in late 2018 and, because of its F9 focal ratio, performs superbly on the planets, double stars, globular clusters and brighter deep sky objects.
Beside this we also have a 6″ solarscope, also made by myself in 2015. It uses a Lunt PS60 etalon in its construction, as well as an internal ERF filter. The views of the Sun using this instrument are simply jawdropping when the conditions are optimum!
This set up is all mounted on my Mesu 200 equatorial mount. This has a 100 kg payload capacity and has a friction drive – no backlash here!
The mount can be controlled via our observatory computer, or if you prefer, the basic hand controller. We are always here if you need any advice.
The construction of our substantial twin observatory set up began in March 2018.
The plans were designed by Neil Phillipson, owner of the observatory company Outsidology, and a great personal friend of mine.
We erected the initial main structure within a week. I then went on to finish the observatories, which included the decorations, the installation of the astronomy equipment, the installation of the internet, the furnishings, etc by the autumn.
The timber decking, plus a comfortable seating area to the side of the observatories, completes the professional look.
Our garden mount, available for our guests to use, fitted out with our wide angle set up of William Optics FLT98
Our Garden mount, available for our guests to use, fitted out with our Skylight AR101 F15 refractor
In the background you can also see our log cabin gamesroom which can also used as a warm room whilst imaging and observing.